Fonds 23 - Marjorie Lamb/ Alert Service fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 23

Title

Marjorie Lamb/ Alert Service fonds

Date(s)

  • 1931 - 1968 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

Approx. 10 m textual records and graphic material

Context area

Name of creator

(1907-1989)

Biographical history

Marjorie Lamb (1907-1989) was born 17 October 1907 in London, Ontario, the only daughter of Col. Henry J. Lamb and Agnes Bermingham. The family settled in Toronto where Henry worked as an engineer for the federal government. The Lambs were a prominent family. Henry J. Lamb was a member of and president of the Professional Engineers Ontario. He was a parishioner at St. Basil’s Church. Marjorie Lamb was educated at Harvegal College, the Lycee in France and at the Sorbonne. She was recognized as a public figure and appeared in The Toronto Star society and news columns throughout her adult life. Following the publication of her co-authored biography The Boyd Gang in 1957, she was primarily known for her authorship of that work. Her publication of the Alert Service newsletter began around the same time. Between 1955 and 1967 she assembled an extensive documentation of the activities of known and suspected communists both in Canada and abroad. The Alert Service was closely affiliated with the Catholic Women’s League, of which Lamb was also a member. Marjorie Lamb died 11 November 1989.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The Marjorie Lamb Collection was donated to the Kelly Library in 2001 by her estate executor Father J. Ambrose Raftis.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Marjorie Lamb/ Alert Service fonds is primarily comprised of the research and publishing files of Marjorie Lamb in her capacity as a public speaker and the author of the Alert Service newsletter. The newsletter, which she published in the 1950s and 1960s sought to expose and counteract Communist activities in Canada. Her files extensively document the labour movement, Cold War political issues at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and radical social movements in Toronto and across Canada. Implicit throughout the records are the issues of domestic espionage and propaganda.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

System of arrangement

The files are partially described and as such have not yet been arranged in fixed series.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Materials are still being processed but may be made available to researchers by request.

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Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Additional correspondence relating to Marjorie Lamb may be found in the Archbishop James C. Cardinal McGuigan fonds (MG AA – MG TA) of the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto: https://www.archtoronto.org/archives/Pages/default.aspx

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

The research and reference files of the Alert Service fonds encompass the majority of the documents housed at the Kelly library. A smaller number of records including correspondence, political publications and ephemera, financial records and notebooks are also represented in the fonds. A portion of Father Raftis' papers are also kept with the fonds, and may pertain to the Marjorie Lamb files.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession number

2008 01

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